Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Pack for a Journey, 1480

Martellus world map, c. 1490

"[A traveler] should carry with him two bags: one very full of patience, the other containing two hundred Venetian ducats, or at least one hundred and fifty... furthermore, he should provision himself with good Lombard cheese, sausages, tongue, and other cured meats of every sort; white biscuits, some cakes of sugar, and various confections, but not a great quantity because they spoil quickly. Above all he should take plenty of fruit syrup, because that is what keeps a man alive in extreme heat; and also ginger syrup to settle his stomach if it is upset by too much vomiting." 
Santo Brasca, Viaggio in Terrasanta (1480)
Airport security may take your fruit syrups, and customs may confiscate your cured meats, but no one can take away your suitcase full of patience. 


  1. My husband pointed me to your blog a few days ago, I am absolutely loving it, especially as a large portion of my re-enactment friends are currently gearing up to spend 5 days in a German castle celebrating the 20th anniversary of our kingdom next week. I'll be heading there with two bags, but, alas, neither of them will have any Venetian ducats in them.

  2. I sense a book in your future, dear Blogger.

    My husband just hiked 2 months on the Appalachian Trail and he did not pack any of this. He did however, acquire some patience along the way. ( http://gronkca.blogspot.ca/ )

    Love your modern comments on the old!

  3. I am glad that Christopher Columbus did not follow this book.

  4. "suitcase full of patience" lol

  5. Yep, show up at Pennsic (or any large historical re-creation event) with food, drink, a credit card and patience ... you will have a good time! - Aldermouries

  6. Ginger actually does relieve nausea, so if by "ginger syrup" he means ginger boiled down to a concentrated liquid (probably with sugar), then it's actually pretty effective in a world without Dramamine.


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